Love's Fury (Viking's Fury #1)(3)By: Violetta Rand
Padding? She choked back a sour laugh. There was hardly enough loose skin on her arse to pinch herself with, much less to please a bloody barbarian in bed. Oh, she knew clearly what this was all about. Growing up in a monastery offered many benefits, but it also came with a heavy price: limitless knowledge. Silvia had access to manuscripts—not all of them religious in nature. What literature the church disapproved of and confiscated often ended up in the scriptorium for monks to review. And she’d taken advantage of it, sneaking forbidden texts home where she read every word.
The prince raised his eyebrows. “Then before these witnesses,” he started, “I give you … what is the tøsen’s name?”
Konal poked her in the ribs. “Answer.”
Although she’d never stood amongst so many strangers before, Silvia abandoned her civility. The Saxons kneeling at Ivarr’s feet were going to be executed—they deserved to hear their kinswoman curse this murdering swine. “I pray your limbs wither, your manhood rots off, your daughters are sold into slavery, and your wife sleeps in another man’s bed…”
Before Silvia closed her mouth, Konal twisted her around. His steely eyes terrified her as he squeezed her cheeks so tight she resembled a fish. Now she’d surely follow her brethren into heaven.
“This girl has cursed my manhood and honor.” Ivarr broke the silence. His deep-bellied laughter inspired his men to react similarly.
She’d never meant to entertain, but to offend. To shame. The only one who appeared insulted was Konal.
“You’ve accepted a larger portion than you anticipated. Perhaps you want something softer to nibble on, Konal?” Ivarr’s green eyes danced.
“I’ll give her something to chew on,” Konal shot back. “Something to…”
Ivarr raised his hand. “Be at ease brother—she’s afraid. Let her stay and witness what happens to people who betray me. It will be punishment enough for her spiteful tongue.”
Konal nodded, then released her on a huff. The prince’s tranquil features darkened in seconds. The time for friendly banter was over and there was nothing she could do to save her kinsmen, nothing. The Danes were growing restless. She searched the crowd for anyone she knew. What a sad sight watching her people cower in silence. Tears stung her eyes. God forgive her … Lord save these innocent men.
A loud murmur spread through the crowd as several soldiers repositioned the prisoners. The inevitable time had arrived. Silvia surged forward, hoping to reach them—to pray over them—to offer sympathy and praise for their bravery—something, anything. But Konal stopped her. His strong arm hooked her from behind, then yanked her against his inflexible body. He nuzzled her neck; his hot breath scorched her skin. She wanted to curl up and die.
“Your mind is no longer your own. You belong to me. Understand?” he hissed against her left ear. “Do not move unless I give you permission. Don’t think without my approval.”
More curses circulated in her stubborn mind, each filthier than the next. Words she shouldn’t know; phrases unfit for the most despicable of men. Instead of speaking, she turned, then grabbed the tip of Konal’s perfect nose, twisting and tugging with all her might. He let go of her. His body jerked in pain. This was the only chance she’d get.
The little bitch. Konal fisted his hands at his sides—laughter fueling his fury and embarrassment. Not only had she assaulted him, she’d managed to escape. He rubbed his nose as he watched her disappear around an outbuilding. Grateful Prince Ivarr hadn’t witnessed any of it, Konal sucked in a breath, then strutted away from the courtyard.
He’d held his temper in check after she cursed the prince … even felt a flash of sympathy. No longer. Ivarr had a weakness for beautiful women. Not Konal—especially a Saxon witch. He’d bedded his share of dark-haired, blue-eyed beauties on both sides of the North Sea. His cock didn’t do his thinking for him, only his fucking. The reason he found himself in Northumbria is because he had lost a bloody wager with his elder brother. Who could drink more mead in one night without vomiting? The punishment for his loss—serving the Danes, which did little for him. Though, he admitted, Ivarr had been a great friend and competent leader. In fairness, he’d gained lands fifty miles east of York, near the coast. And he knew exactly where he was going to take his latest acquisition.